2020-09-18 08:23:59 UTC
The work in question is
"The political decisions and policy leading to the Royal Australian Air
Force having no fighters or interceptors for the coming war against Japan."
Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology.
I found the work to have so many problems I ended up generating around a 1.5
Mb text file of quotes from the thesis and notes about what was in the
thesis. I sent it to the relevant academics and after an email exchange
they propose to do nothing, as the thesis was externally examined. However
before that comes the sign off by the supervisors that the thesis is worthy
of examination and the examiners are therefore entitled to assume basic fact
checking has been done. Two quotes from the correspondence,
"as an Institution QUT has confidence in the quality and merit of the
"you need to seek an alternative outlet for your work, perhaps an
appropriate internet forum."
It seems no papers were written based on the thesis, so the only public
source is the QUT web site.
Over and above the factual problems is the thesis needed more proof reading,
to catch things like footnotes not matching, and dates, like Bismarck being
sunk in 1940 and again in 1941.
I am not including my full set of notes they make for tedious reading, given
the repetitive and at time disjointed nature of the thesis (and my writing
style). Trying to figure out what the time period being discussed can be
quite hard. An example,
"Halfway through the Beaufort program, the British terminated the supply of
vital parts, reneging on their contract of exporting template numbers of
Beauforts as examples for the DAP, failed to buy Beauforts from CAC,
retained the Sunderlands ordered for the RAAF and disparaged the Wirraway
without supplying an alternative such as the Hurricane being sent to Russia
in large numbers."
No date is given, the Australian Bristol Beaufort program half way point
could be any time, from order to last aircraft, from order to half way
aircraft, from start of production to etc. The order dates from mid 1939,
production ended in August 1944. The British exported 1 pattern Beaufort,
as agreed, it arrived in 1940. The Australian government took over the RAF
order Beauforts in 1942, the RAAF retained the Sunderlands in Britain in
1939, the Wirraway comments date from 1938, the USSR shipments from the
second half of 1941.
The title only gives a part view of the material covered as the thesis comes
to the conclusion there was enough obvious information and aircraft
available early enough that the RAAF could, even should, have had at least a
fighter force of a couple of hundred or more fighters able to match the
Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero in place as part of a proper air defence system at
Darwin in mid February 1942, along with a viable counter attack force of
Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers.
The thesis makes use of David Irving as a source on Winston Churchill, here
is an extract from the libel trial judgement from
"The charges which I have found to be substantially true include the charges
that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and
deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for
the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable
light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility
for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that
he is anti-semitic and racist and that he associates with right wing
extremists who promote neo-Nazism."
The thesis says WWII had intercontinental bombers.
Phrases like "Japanese deployed their Army Zero-Zen as a naval fighter"
The Japanese "traditionally they were not restricted by inter-services'
rivalry and obsolete thinking" which would overturn about a century of
histories on the size of the Japanese Army versus Navy rivalries.
Adolf Galland, Luftwaffe fighter pilot, is the thesis source for British
radar and fighter defences.
There is little information on what aircraft were historically available, in
what quantities and when, despite this being a key factor in what could be
done. The thesis uses the description of the US industry from the 1938
British mission to the US to note the industry was hungry for orders and so
able to deliver the thesis concluded requirements at the thesis concluded
time and this description apparently applies all the way to end 1941.
The thesis considers the RAAF should have had dive bombers in 1941 and they
were overlooked as a type but is unaware over 200 were on order from the US
as offsets from an RAF order, initial deliveries promised for June 1941, but
production was well behind schedule and in the end a different design had to
be substituted, Brewster Bermuda to Vultee Vengeance.
Robert Menzies, Australian Prime Minister, 1941 trip, depart Australia 24
January to Singapore, Middle East 2 February, England 20 February, stayed
around 10 weeks, still there on 30 April, to Canada, 10 May in USA, home 26
May. The thesis notes when in the Middle East Menzies did not consult
experienced RAAF personnel on air defence, using as an example Clive
Caldwell, a man who did not arrive in the Middle East until April 1941 as a
As for RAAF experience, 3 Squadron RAAF, arrived Egypt in August 1940
initially equipped with Lysander Army co-operation, gained Gladiator and
Gauntlet biplane fighters in September, the Gauntlets were removed in
December, the Lysander in January 1941. Hurricanes added in late January,
Gladiators removed in early February. First air combat on 19 November 1940.
The Curtiss P-40 fighter, A to C models called Tomahawk, D and later models
Kittyhawk, the thesis has it present in the Australian units Western Desert
of North Africa in December 1940 as a fighter bomber, the Tomahawk versions
were not fighter bombers and the only Australian squadron to be equipped
with the Tomahawk was number 3, receiving the first of them on 17 May 1941.
The first allied fighter bomber sorties in the western desert were on 20
November 1941 by Hurricanes.
The thesis uses quotes from newspapers as sources, including wartime ones
despite the inevitable censorship, rather than the relevant official
The thesis cannot find any evidence the Bristol Beaufort in RAAF service
sank a ship, there is no consultation of the post war JANAC and USSBS
Japanese shipping loss reports, but as the Beauforts did not sink a ship
they therefore could not sink a ship. The first RAAF Beaufort combat
sorties were at night, therefore the Beaufort only did night raids.
Three data tables the thesis uses, from the British Cabinet, the RAAF
official history and an RAAF publication are all misquoted. The various
British Cabinet documents quoted are available to see on the British
National Archives web site, if anyone feels like it they can check to see if
they have the difficulties I had at times matching what the cabinet document
says to what the thesis says is says.
Lend Lease was passed on 11 March 1941, before that it was being able to
generate US dollars to pay for the items, the backlog of orders meant Lend
Lease material started significant deliveries from 1942 onwards. The thesis
has Lend Lease available in 1940.
The RAAF placed two orders for Short Sunderland flying boats, one in 1939,
one 1943. The 1939 order stayed in Britain with the unit meant to operate
them moving to join the aircraft, not the pre war plan of the other way
around. The 1943 order were delivered in 1944. The thesis says one order
and look how long it took to be filled.
The thesis states the US was trialing its first line aircraft in China, from
perhaps as early as 1932, or at least 1937 onwards. The P-40B was flown in
China pre 7 December 1941 encountering Zeros, whereas the AVG did not go
into action until post 7 December and did not meet Zeros. General Claire
Chennault sent to China in 1937 "under orders from Roosevelt to organise and
command the clandestine AVG, the Flying Tigers"
By the looks of things, the thesis has when discussing the 1937 Japanese
invasion of China and the Nanking massacre. "The US response, apart from
the token AVG, was to continue making diplomatic protests but even after one
of its patrol boats, the Panay, was sunk by Japanese divebombers, no
retaliation was threatened" Panay in 1937, AVG in 1941.
The thesis has Sweden ordering P-40 which became the AVG aircraft, they were
ordered before Sweden was over run, presumably by neutrality. There was no
Swedish P-40 order.
And so on.
Remove the nb for email.